Name Christi Caldwell
Age I’ll turn 36 on April 12th…you know what, let’s just call it 35. I’ve got a few months left!
Where are you from:
I grew up in a Southern New England shoreline town. I moved down to Concord, North Carolina for some time and am now back in Connecticut!
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
My husband and I were high school sweethearts. We began dating when we were 15 and never broke up once. We went on to UConn together, graduated,; me with a Master of Arts in History Education. My husband and I were married a few years later. Our journey to parenthood was a struggle and we eventually had our first child, discovering at his birth that he had Down syndrome. Our son is shown us more joy than we’d ever imagined possible.
We’ve since become parents to twin girls, and our family is perfectly complete!
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
Oh, where to start! I have so many projects planned for 2015. I have back-to-back-to-back releases for January and February; two books both part of a different series. January 3rd I released the second full-length novel in my “Heart of a Duke” series titled “More Than a Duke”. And coming February 12th, in time for Valentine’s Day I’ll release Book 6 in my Scandalous Seasons Series, “Once a Wallflower, At Last His Love”! Which will usher in a Regency spin-off series, titled the “Lords of Honor” series, I’ll kick off with a novella, April 3rd.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve always loved to write; I didn’t seriously sit down to write until I was a graduate student at UConn, studying history. I’ve read the historical romance genre since I was 13, so with my love of history and romance, there was nothing else I’d write.
I didn’t, however publish my books until November 2013 when I was on bedrest with my twin girls. I spent twenty weeks in total on bedrest and was out of work, bored, scared, and so indie publishing my books filled my days. I never imagined readers would ‘find’ me. J
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I was in 6th grade; I wrote a piece about a shipwreck that my teacher was in awe of. From then on, I called myself a ‘writer’. J
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My son was my inspiration. I divide my career as a writer into two phases; the books I wrote before he was born and then everything to come after him. When I was younger, I’d write tales of more ‘perfect’ characters, however when my son was born, I learned he had Down syndrome.
It redefined my idea of perfection and I was filled with a desire to create stories of imperfect heroes and heroines who deserved to triumph over their struggles and find a happily ever after.
I always say that my son showed me that imperfections are what really make us perfect!
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
My titles usually come later, but they are always deeply bound to the heart of each story I write. For “More Than a Duke”, for example, the lead heroine Lady Anne, who grew up in fear a result of her wastrel father has always longed for stability…a duke symbolized her dream of that stability. Only with a woman’s eyes and heart, she comes to learn she wants more than a duke from her life.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I believe there are so many messages contained within the pages of a book. As an author, I want my readers to find whatever message they may within a book. Sometimes, I’ll receive emails or read reviews about something they came away with from the story and I’ll say ‘hmm, I didn’t necessarily think of that…” and I love that words are meaningful and special to us all in different ways.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
As a former history major and teacher, I incorporate research into all my books. Settings, furniture, historical events of the period, I generally try to stay as true to possible with. I do think it is a fun challenge to try and break from the constraints that required chaperones, while finding opportunities to get your hero and heroine alone during the period. J
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
The twin sisters from my “Heart of a Duke” series were inspired when I was on bedrest. The doctors were pessimistic about me carrying my own daughters to term and I was prepared to lose them. I of course worried, but I imagined a pair of twins and focused on creating stories of them.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Unfortunately, I don’t necessarily have the time I’d like to read as I once did. I spend most of my days writing and being a full-time mother to my twins and 6 year-old son. I’ll never miss a Julia Quinn novel, though. J
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I have two series I’m working on.
First, for my “Heart of a Duke” series; with three future heroes who’ve been introduced in “More Than a Duke”. The Duke of Crawford, the Marquess of Rutland, and Lord Alex Edgerton are all on deck for books. I’m still working out the order, but one will be coming this spring so stay tuned
I’m also launching a new series come Spring 2015, the “Lords of Honor” series which features bold, brave, and dark heroes who’ve returned from fighting Boney’s forces. “Seduced By a Lady’s Heart”, a novella will kick the series off! And “Saved By a Lady’s Love” will be the first full-length novel, coming the end of May!
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
I would say there are authors in the industry who’ve helped me. Kathryn LeVeque, an outrageously talented Medieval Historical Romance author has been so, so supportive, providing me such necessary guidance in the world of writing.
As has Rose Gordon. She’s always made herself available to me in terms of questions.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I do. It is a labor of love. I never write books, however, with the idea of it being about money. I always wrote because I loved to write; I’m just blessed that I enjoy my career!
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Short answer, no. J My beta reader begged me to change one part and I thought on it for several days…and I eventually said to her, “if I change this part of Anne, it will change Anne”…As an author you have to trust the story is the story you intend to tell and put it out there knowing not everyone will connect with every aspect of the book.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I picked up a romance novel I found at my aunt’s house when I was just a girl and remember thinking, ‘this is so beautiful. I wish I could do that’. And so I began crafting my own stories from then on.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Time. I have so many stories in my mind; they keep me up at night. The moment my head hits the pillow, characters flit through my head and I end up hopping out of bed, and back on my computer! It sounds cliché…but there really is not enough time.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Julia Quinn. She is brilliant. Her voice is unique. Her books tell brilliant stories of interesting characters.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
I was told to write every day. It really was the best advice I’ve ever been given. Even if it’s just 200 words; get them down…keep the story moving.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I wanted to thank my readers. Which seems so very inadequate for the readers who read my books and email me or review to say my book has in some way touched them. I know I’m blessed to be able to write every day…and the only reason I am is because of the readers who ask for more stories and take the time to read my works!
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
My children. I’ve learned that laughter is more beautiful and the pain deeper when you are a parent.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why? I’ve always said I’d love a sit down with Henry VIII to explain the whole genetics behind fertility to explain away his resentment with the wives who couldn’t ‘bear’ him a male baby! J
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
Devoted Mother. It is the most important role I’ve ever been graced to receive, and if when I die I’m remembered for being a loving, devoted, and dedicated mother than I’ll know I’ve lived my life to perfection.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
LOL Funny question. My husband just said the other day; ‘you don’t have any hobbies except writing…and it’s not a hobby”.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I love The Walking Dead. J My favorite movies however are “Love Actually” “Sense and Sensibility” “Pride and Prejudice”.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
I can live on Chinese food. I never tire of it.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Before I wrote full-time, I was a high-school history teacher. I loved being in the classroom but as a mother and writer, I’m living my dream of motherhood and authorship! J
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
I do! My website is www.christicaldwellauthor.com
Barns and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/christi-caldwell